Tolkien and the Eucharist

Again, I am borrowing from Fr. Longenecker. He posted this quote today and it actually says the opposite of how I tend to enjoy Mass, but I think I understand what Tolkien is saying.

“The only cure for sagging of fainting faith is Communion. Though always Itself, perfect and complete and inviolate, the Blessed Sacrament does not operate completely and once for all in any of us. Like the act of Faith it must be continuous and grow by exercise. Frequency is of the highest effect. Seven times a week is more nourishing than seven times at intervals. Also I can recommend this as an exercise (alas! only too easy to find opportunity for): make your communion in circumstances that affront your taste. Choose a snuffling or gabbling priest or a proud and vulgar friar; and a church full of the usual bourgeois crowd, ill-behaved children – from those who yell to those products of Catholic schools who the moment the tabernacle is opened sit back and yawn – open necked and dirty youths, women in trousers and often with hair both unkempt and uncovered. Go to communion with them (and pray for them). It will be just the same (or better than that) as a mass said beautifully by a visibly holy man, and shared by a few devout and decorous people. (It could not be worse than the mess of the feeding of the Five Thousand – after which [our] Lord propounded the feeding that was to come.)”



One thought on “Tolkien and the Eucharist

  1. I’ve read that quote before in the collection of Tolkien’s published letters. I think the lembas bread in The Lord of the Rings is a Eucharistic symbol. Also, in The Lord of the Rings, Faramir’s “Last Supper” consists of bread and wine. This is last meal before he “does his Father’s will” and goes on a suicide mission to retake the enemy-occupied city of Osgilliath.

    I am a huge Tolkien fan and a Roman Catholic. Please visit my blog at Thanks! 🙂

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